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U.nelumbifolia soil mix test


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#1 Sebulon

 
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Posted 24 June 2011 - 08:00 AM

Hello,

My Utricularia nelumbifolia flowered about 3 months ago. I tried self pollinating the flowers, and the plant easily gave me hundreds of seeds. So, I had a lot of material to do some testing on.

I planted most of the seeds on 3 different soil mixtures:

1) 1/1/1/1 Live Sphagnum, peat, perlite and fine orchid bark (Top left)
2) Live Sphagnum (Lower left)
3) 1/1 Peat and sand (Lower right)

Posted Image

As you can see, the airier the mixture is, the better the seedlings seem to grow!

1) Has the most healthy looking plants, and the first "runner stolons" are already growing. The plants also show the largest leaves, and oddly, the leaves also seem much healthier, showing darker colors and stiffier structure.
2) Loses to the mega mix quite a bit, as the leaves are about 1/3 smaller, and seem much more yellow than the leaves of the first pot. No runners so far. Might be because the sphagnum overgrows the older leaves, and thus the plants aren't photosynthesizing as well as the plants in the first pot.
3) The loser pot with the smallest plants. The mixture is just too stuffy, as the stolons seem to just circle on the surface instead of sinking in the soil.

Oh, and no adult "cup" leaves so far in any of the pots.

On the other hand. U.reniformis grows well on peat & sand. :P

Greetings,
Jarkko

Edited by Sebulon, 24 June 2011 - 08:03 AM.


#2 Zlatokrt

 
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Posted 24 June 2011 - 09:16 AM

Very interesting test, thank you for sharing. I keep my plants in live sphagnum, but they do not look like i would imagine :-) I think i will repott them soon according your experience. But i am still surprised, how this plant grows well in epiphytic mixture, while in nature it grows in water in bromeliads...
Adam

#3 mobile

 
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Posted 24 June 2011 - 11:26 AM

I have recently sowed U. reniformis seeds in an airy mix very similar to yours, so was starting to think that I had definitely made the right choice, until I read your last statement of 'On the other hand. U.reniformis grows well on peat & sand' :lol:

#4 Vartax

 
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Posted 24 June 2011 - 11:26 AM

I never saw Utricularia nelumbifolia that healthy :) Could you describe a little your conditions for taking care of it?





#5 Sebulon

 
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Posted 24 June 2011 - 12:58 PM

I never saw Utricularia nelumbifolia that healthy :) Could you describe a little your conditions for taking care of it?

I grow them in my highland terrarium. The temperatures for day range between 18-22 depending on the time of the year, and 12-16 for night. For lighting, I have one 150w HQL. The humidity is somewhere between 60-80%. The pots stand in water, and the water level is usually about half the height of the pots. Sometimes The water level is even higher.

I hope that helps. :)

I have recently sowed U. reniformis seeds in an airy mix very similar to yours, so was starting to think that I had definitely made the right choice, until I read your last statement of 'On the other hand. U.reniformis grows well on peat & sand' :lol:

Haha! :biggrin: Well, I haven't tested U.reniformis in multiple soil mixes YET, but my smallish plantling just exploded when I transferred it from pure sphagnum to peat & sand! Don't know how well it would do in my epiphyte mix, but it definitely didn't like pure sphagnum.

Edited by Sebulon, 24 June 2011 - 13:02 PM.


#6 Deadly Weapon

 
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Posted 24 June 2011 - 14:10 PM

Very interesting text. Are you going to do tests like this with other species?

#7 Sebulon

 
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Posted 24 June 2011 - 14:52 PM

Very interesting text. Are you going to do tests like this with other species?

If I receive as many seedlings from some other species as I did with U.nelumbifolia, Im always curious to do some testing.

For example, I happen to have a test going on with U. alpina: I have some seedlings growing in the same basic epiphyte mix (1/1/1/1 orchid bark, perlite, peat and sphagnum) and some growing in 1/1 peat perlite. Unfortunately they don't grow as fast as U.nelumbifolia, so it's going to take a while before I can say anything about them!

#8 James O'Neill

 
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Posted 24 June 2011 - 15:47 PM

I grow my plant on the windowsill, in an undrained container with live sphagnum, keeping the water level high. It has grown unbelieveably fast, from a couple of pieces of stolon last year, to 3 flower stalks, thick (1cm) stolons, and z-million runners and leaves at the moment. Because it has done so well, I have thought that this was the way to do it...
But perhaps I should try in a good open airy mix, and see if I get even better results.

#9 Sebulon

 
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Posted 24 June 2011 - 17:03 PM

I grow my plant on the windowsill, in an undrained container with live sphagnum, keeping the water level high. It has grown unbelieveably fast, from a couple of pieces of stolon last year, to 3 flower stalks, thick (1cm) stolons, and z-million runners and leaves at the moment. Because it has done so well, I have thought that this was the way to do it...
But perhaps I should try in a good open airy mix, and see if I get even better results.

I also grew the motherplant in a jar of sphagnum. It did well for me too, flowered and everything, but it grew very few leaves. When I look at the seedlings, I think the plants might grow more "lush" in the epiphyte mix, what I mean is like more leaves and less stolons circling the bottom of the pot. Both methods seem to work, but Id really love to see a nelumbifolia with a lot of large leaves!

#10 RL7836

 
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Posted 24 June 2011 - 18:16 PM

Very interesting test. When I initially set up some U. nelumbifolia a few years ago, I set one up in a pot of open peat-based media and one in live LFS. Both grew but the LFS pot grew more. Other than U. reniformis (& U. nephrophylla), direct comparisons w/ peat-based media & live LFS has always favored the live LFS - sometimes dramatically so. My tests with U. reniformis were exactly opposite as the rennies preferred the peat media mix.

Please keep updating this thread as time passes. With some pots, the utrics grew well for a while but later stagnated in the peat media mix. Those in live LFS kept growing well. Based on my testing, I have no plans to use any peat in my large Orchidioides pots - but if your testing continues to show these results, I may need to reconsider for at least some of the plants ... :wacko1:

#11 Sebulon

 
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Posted 09 July 2011 - 11:43 AM

Hello,

Some updates:

Comparison of all the medias:
Posted Image

Comparison of the epiphyte mix and sphagnum:
Posted Image

Comparison in leaf colour:
Posted Image
Posted Image

The first aerial runner (Epiphyte):
Posted Image

And the first mature leaf (Epiphyte):
Posted Image

Greetings,
Jarkko

#12 Miloslav Macháček

 
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Posted 09 July 2011 - 20:31 PM

Hmmm that is interresting! I'd not expect that pure sphagnum (i keep mine in it) will be this much worse in comparsion with epiphytic media :smile:.

#13 mobile

 
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Posted 09 July 2011 - 21:47 PM

I wonder if it is getting some nutrients from the epiphytic soil that is not present in Sphagnum moss. Maybe something from the orchid bark?

#14 dchasselblad74

 
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Posted 10 July 2011 - 02:26 AM

I wonder if it is getting some nutrients from the epiphytic soil that is not present in Sphagnum moss. Maybe something from the orchid bark?


It could be that orchid bark makes the media more acidic due to the tannins it releases perhaps???

#15 Sebulon

 
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Posted 10 July 2011 - 07:25 AM

Hmm, you guys brought up some interesting ideas. I had to check the orchid bark bag, and here are some notes from it:

No added fertilizers

Ingredients: treebark, crushed leca-gravel, charcoal

pH = 5,9

#16 gill_za

 
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Posted 14 October 2011 - 04:50 AM

Hmm, you guys brought up some interesting ideas. I had to check the orchid bark bag, and here are some notes from it:

No added fertilizers

Ingredients: treebark, crushed leca-gravel, charcoal

pH = 5,9


Hi there,

I have a similar issue with terrestrial and a couple of epiphytic utrics growing in pure LFS or living sphagnum and was wondering for a while what could be the reason. I believe tannins or tannic acid has nothing to do with green color of the leaves. After all tannins are associated with brown pigments in autumn leaves and bark. After looking around for a while and consulting with several members on other forums I believe that Utrics in LFS and live sphagnum are deprived of the significant portion of the food source through the antibacterial properties of the media.

Below are few examples of plants in different media.
U. pubescens in peat:sand http://i1115.photobu...111008_005s.jpg
U. pubescens in LFS http://i1115.photobu...111008_006s.jpg
U. graminifolia in peat:sand http://i1115.photobu...111008_001s.jpg
U. graminifolia in LFS http://i1115.photobu...111008_003s.jpg

#17 patrickn

 
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Posted 15 October 2011 - 06:36 AM

Interesting experiment. It is a great information for culturing highland Utrics

#18 Vartax

 
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Posted 08 November 2011 - 12:08 PM

Just thought of showing the same nelumbifolia in a soil and aquatic version.

I got my plant from Sebulon

They are cultivated outside a terrarium near my window

This the plant cultivated in a very open substract with a sphagnum toping and water allways up to the middle of the vase.

Posted Image

This the the one that began to grow in the water tray from a stolon just a few weeks afther she arrived

Posted Image

This is the comparison of the two leaves

Terrestrial

Posted Image


Aquatic

Posted Image



The only big diference I can see is that I have a slow but big grow in the aquatic and a fast but small in size in the terrestrial one.

Edited by Vartax, 08 November 2011 - 12:09 PM.


#19 Sebulon

 
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Posted 17 February 2012 - 13:45 PM

I'm gonna post a little update, I've been very busy lately with school entrance exams and my part-time job, so I haven't really been able to give my hobbies all the time I would've wanted, but neverthless, here are some news:

All my nelumbifolia had a little drawback during early winter, when they had a little drought period during my trip to Tenerife. During the period they stopped growing leaves and grew a ton of aerial runners. Took me a good two hours to trim the runners from all over the tank and eradicate the plantlets from other pots that had already succeeded in their mission. :rolleyes: The pots look a little pale now with so few leaves, but they didn't seem to take any real damage from the drought. The humidity was good the whole time, so nothing really happened. They have resumed growth after the incident very well.

The epiphyte mix is once again the victor, as it seems to be the first to flower. It is currently growing 2 flowerscapes.

The pot with the sphagnum looks pretty much identical to the epiphyte mix in growth, but no flowers so far. Looks like the epiphyte mix really offers some nutrients the sphagnum cannot.

The peat & sand -mix pot looks so bad compared to the two other. The plants don't seem to have spread at all and you can almost see the places where the seeds originally started growing. They have ok leaf growth.

I don't have photos this time, sorry. :roll:

#20 pulsar

 
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Posted 25 March 2012 - 00:01 AM

heat and light levels seem to have more impact on leaf size and colour(so ive found anyway)most years ive found the plants to be hardy in an unheated greenhouse and they tend to produce very large nice green leaves but as the plant mature the leaves are more like those in the post above.
in the last few years we have had very cold winters in the uk so kept them in the conservatory over winter and they produce much smaller leaves until i move them back into the greenhouse.i grow mine in a 50/50 spagnum perlite mix almost submerged in water i found bark or peat mixed in made the mix rot and very smelly.
i grow most of the epiphytic type utricularia in the same mix and always got good results except U. nephrophylla that seem to do better in a pear or orchid bark based mixture

rob